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Art Union of London Rare Complete Set 30 Bronze Medals Rare Victoria Jubilee
Art Union of London Rare Complete Set 30 Bronze Medals Rare Victoria Jubilee
Art Union of London Rare Complete Set 30 Bronze Medals Rare Victoria Jubilee
Art Union of London Rare Complete Set 30 Bronze Medals Rare Victoria Jubilee
Art Union of London Rare Complete Set 30 Bronze Medals Rare Victoria Jubilee

Art Union of London Rare Complete Set 30 Bronze Medals Rare Victoria Jubilee

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Art Union Of London A Complete Set of 30 x Bronze Medals.

This set of medals, comissioned by the Art Union of London, was first planned in 1842 as 'The Medallic Series History of British Art;' not only as prizes for subscribers to the Art Union of London but also to encourage British die-engravers.

The extremely rare 30th medal commemorates the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887 and also the Golden Jubilee of the Art Union of London. Very few complete sets even exsist as only a small number of the 30th medal were issued to complete sets all around the country.

Each medal is between 54 - 60 mm in diameter with an average weight of 95g. (Golden Jubilee medal is 65 mm, 138 g) This collection also comes with the article, 'The Medals of The Art Union of London' by G K Beaulah (reprinted from The British Numismatic Journal' Vol XXXV1 1967) which describes the origin & design of each medal in detail.

I . CHANTERY (1843) Obv.: CHANTREY SCULPTOR ET ABTIUM FACTOR W : WYON . R:A : FEC : Rev.: On plinth, WATT ; in exergue, FRANCISCI CHANTRE Y OPUS . W . WYON . R.A . FEC . 1846. On the edge: ART UNION OF LONDON 1843. (Some specimens have nothing on the edge). Diam.: 55 mm. The profile looking right, portrays Sir Francis Chantrey (1781-1842), donor of the Chantrey Bequest, a noted sculptor, who was among the first to depart from the frozen classicism fashionable in the early 19th century. The reverse subject shows Chantrey's sculptured memorial to James Watt in Handsworth Church, Birmingham.

2 . REYNOLDS (1845) . Obv.: REYNOLDS : STOTHARD (on neck). Rev.: ART UNION OF LONDON 1845 . Nothing on edge. Diam.: 58 mm. The profile head, looking left, is from the bust now in the vestibule of the Royal Academy. Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792 ) was the first President of the Royal Academy. The reverse represents 'The Infant Hercules', after one of Reynolds' paintings, 1 0 ft. square, then (1845 ) in the Imperial Collection at St. Petersburg 'in deplorable condition'.

3 . WREN (1846) . Obv.: WREN : WILSON SC. Rev.: CHRISTOPHER WREN ARCHITECT MDCCX. In exergue: SI MONTTMENTUM REQUIRIS CIRCUMSPICE. B. WYON s. On the edge: ART UNION OF LONDON 1846 . Diam.: 57- 7 mm. The portrait, looking to right, depicts Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) , architect responsible for the design of many of London's public buildings after the Great Fire. The reverse subject, St. Paul's Cathedral, was considered at the time to be 'one of the most successful medallic representations of a building ever executed'.

4 . HOGARTH (1848) . Obv.: HOGARTH. Signed L. WYON . Rev.: HE THROUGH THE EYE CORRECTS THE HEART. In exergue: ART UNION OF LONDON 1848 . On plinth: HOGARTH DES . L . WYON SC. Nothing on the edge. Diam. 54-6 mm. The bust, looking right, is after a sculpture by Roubilliac. William Hogarth (1697-1764 ) is the first considerable genre painter of the truly English School. The reverse shows a scene from Hogarth's painting 'The Election'. Two rival canvassers are soliciting a voter.

5 . INIGO JONES (1849) . Obv.: INIGO JONES , C. F . CARTER F . Rev.: In exergue: BANQUETING HOUSE WHITEHALL 1616 . Unsigned. On the edge: ART U NION OF LONDON 1849 . Diam.: 5 4 mm. The bust, looking left, portrays Inigo Jones (1576-1651), architect. He brought to England the designs of the Italian Palladio and started the taste for imitative styles which has lasted until recently. Thirty medals in silver allotted to winners of 1849; but in 1851 they were still undelivered 'delayed by other engagements'.

6 . FLAXMAN (1854) . Obv.: FLAXMAN. HENRY WEIGALL SC : Rev.: H . WEIGALL FECIT On the edge: ART-UNIO N OF LONDON 1854 . Diam.: 5 6 mm. The profile bust, looking left, depicts John Flaxman, R.A . (1755-1826) , sculptor, but foremost a designer in the neo-grecian mode of his day. He had a great influence on artistic ideals, which lingers in corners even now. The reverse shows a bas-relief of Flaxman's 'Mercury and Pandora'. Designed as one of a series of illustrations for Hesiod's Works and Days it was the only one of the series ever modelled.

7 . WYON (1854) . Obv.: WILLIAM WYON R:A : Signed L . c. WYON . Rev.: in exergue: ART-UNION OF LONDON 185 4 w. WYON R.A . DES . L . c. WYON sc. Nothing on the edge. Diam.: 55- 7 mm. The profile head and shoulders on the obverse, looking right, portrays William Wyon, R.A . (1795-1851) . He was the most notable of the family of die engravers connected with the Royal Mint and was Chief Engraver from 1 Art Journal 1850 p. 191. 183 THE MEDALS OE THE ART UNION OF LONDON 1824 until his death. The reverse subject of Britannia driving four sea-horses was designed by W. Wyon and is, with No. 30, alone of the series specifically intended for a medal. The original wax model, in tinted wax on slate, is in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

8 . VANBRUGH (1855) . Obv.: SIK JOHN VANBRUGH. BENJ. WYON SC. Rev.: In exergue: BLENHEIM BENJ . WYON" sc. On the edge: ART-UNION OF LONDON 1855 . Diam.: 5 5 mm. The obverse shows a three-quarter bust. Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726 ) was the architect of Blenheim, continuing the Palladian style introduced by Inigo Jones—a style more concerned with effect than with convenience. The reverse shows the central block of Blenheim Palace.

9 . CHAMBERS (1857) . Obv.-. CHAMBERS 1725-1796 . B. WYO N AFTER WESTMACOTT. Rev.: SOMERSET HOUSE 178 1 SIR WILLIAM CHAMBERS R.A . ARCHITECT. Signed B. WYON . On the edge: ART-UNION OF LONDO N 1857 . Diam.: 55^2 mm. The profile head, looking right, is after a bust by Sir Richard Westmacott, R.A . (See medal No. 18). Sir William Chambers (1726-1796) , architect, was a foundation member of the Royal Academy, and was the architect of Somerset House which is represented on the reverse.

1 0 . BANKS (1858) . Obv.: THOMAS BANKS R:A : L . C. WYON F . Rev.: In exergue: ART-UNION OF LONDON 1858 . On the plinth T. BANKS R.A . SC: L:C : WYON F : Nothing on the edge. Diam.: 54- 6 mm. The headand-shoulders in profile, looking left, is based on a drawing by George Dance, R.A. Thomas Banks, R.A. (1735-1805) , sculptor, has been called 'an apostle of perfect craftsmanship'. The reverse shows part of the decoration of the tomb of Sir Eyre Coote.

11. GAINSBOROUGH (1859) . Obv.: T. GAINSBOROUGH R.A . BORN 1727 . DIED 1789 . E . ORTNER FEC. Rev.: E . ORTNER FECIT. On the edge: ART-UNION OF LONDON 1859 . Diam.: 54- 5 mm. The head-andshoulders looking left is based on a portrait by Zoffany. Thomas Gainsborough was a landscape painter by inclination but best known for his fine portraits. The reverse of this medal, 'The wood-gatherers', is a detail from one of his paintings now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

1 2 . LAWRENCE (1860) . Obv.: LAWRENCE, G. G. ADAMS F . Rev.: ART UNION OF LONDON. 1860 . O n th e plinth: WELLINGTON . In exergue: G. G. ADAMS F. Nothing on the edge. Diam.: 5 6 mm. The head, looking left, is after a bust by E. H. Baily, R.A. Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) , President of the Royal Academy, spread the fame of the English School of portraiture throughout Europe The reverse shows the Duke of Wellington, full length, from a Lawrence portrait.

1 3 . WILKIE (1861) . Obv.: SIR DAVID WILKIE R.A . 1785-1841 . LEONARD C. WYON FEC. Rev.: In th exergue: ART UNION OF LONDON 186 1 WILKIE DES . L. C. WYON F. Nothing on edge. Diam.: 54- 9 mm. The profile head-and-shoulders, looking right, is a portrait of Sir David Wilkie who achieved fame as a painter of village life. The reverse of this medal shows part of his picture, 'The Rent Day'.

1 4 . BARRY (1862) . Obv.: SIR C. BARRY R.A . ARCHITECT, ART-UNION OF LONDON. Signed LEOPOLD WIENER . Rev.: COMMENCED 1837 . INAUGURATED 1847 . Signed J. WIENER . Nothing on edge. Diam.: 59- 5 mm. The profile bust, looking to right, portrays Sir Charles Barry (1795-1850 ) who was one of the last exponents of the classical revival. The reverse shows the Houses of Parliament, his principal work.

1 5 . BACON (1864) . Obv.: 1. BACON R.A . 1740-179 9 J. s. WYON SC. Rev.: SAMUEL JOHNSON : ARTUNION OF LONDON 1864 . J. s. WYON F. Nothing on edge. Diam.: 5 5 mm. The profile head and shoulders, looking to right, portrays John Bacon, R.A., a monumental sculptor of high repute. The reverse depicts Bacon's statue of Samuel Johnson. The commission for this medal was placed with J. S. Wyon as early as 1850.

1 6 . WEST (1866) . Obv. .-WEST 1738-182 0 Signed w. WHSON . Rev.: 1759 . WILSON LONDON . On the edge: ABT-UNION OF LONDON 1866 . Diam.: 54- 8 mm. The profile head, looking to left, portrays Benjamin West B.A. West was born in Pennsylvania and came to London in 1763, becoming President of the Royal Academy in 1792. He was the most successful of the 'History Painters'. The reverse shows the central group from his picture 'The death of Wolfe at Quebec'. W. Wilson was working on the dies in 1863.

1 7 . DYCE (1867) . obv.: DYCE 1806-186 4 Q - ADAMS F . Rev.: ART-UNION OF LONDON 186 7 G. a. ADAMS F . Nothing on edge. Dia,m. 5 7 mm. The profile head, looking left, portrays William Dyce, B.A. , who was largely instrumental in setting up a national system of art training in this country. The reverse shows a detail from one of his paintings, 'The Good Shepherd'.

1 8 . WESTMACOTT (1868) . Obv.: SI B RICHARD WESTMACOTT B.A . 1775-1856 . R . WESTMACOTT (IUN) B.A . MOD. L. o. WYON SCULP . Rev.: ART-UNION OF LONDON 1868 . Nothing on edge. Diam.: 5 5 mm. The head and shoulders, looking to right, was from a model by Westmacott's son. Sir Richard Westmacott, a sculptor of rigid classical persuasion, has five works in Westminster Abbey: six in St. Paul's. The reverse of this medal shows his group 'Charity' (engraved in the Art Journal for 1859, p. 312). 30 silver medals issued to prizewinners in 1868.

19. LESLIE R.A . BORN 179 4 DIED 1859 ART UNION OF LONDON 1870 . A . B. WYON sc. Rev.: TH E SENTRY BOX Nothing on edge. Size 5 5 mm. The profile head, looking to right, portrays C. R. Leslie, R.A . (1794-1859) . He spent his early years in America, arriving in London in 1811 , and specialised in the painting of scenes from literature. The reverse of this medal, 'The Sentry Box', depicts a scene from Tristram Shandy.

2 0 . ETTY (1872) . Obv.: ETTY 1787-184 9 G.G. ADAMS SC. Rev. : ART-UNION OF LONDON . 1872 . G. G. ADAMS sc. Nothing on edge. Diam.: 56- 9 mm. The profile head, looking left, is based on a self-portrait in the Manchester City Art Gallery. William Etty spent his whole working life in mastering the subtleties of modelling and colour in painting the nude. The reverse shows his work 'Venus and Cupid descending' (See Farr William Etty, pi. 18).

2 1 . GIBSON (1874) . Obv.: JOHN GIBSON B.A . 1789-1866 . J . s . WYON SC. Rev.: ART UNION OF LONDON 1874 . J . GIBSON R.A . J . S. WYON sc. Nothing on edge. Diam.: 55- 1 mm. The profile head, looking left, portrays John Gibson, R.A. Gibson's sculptured works include, among many others, the monuments to George Stephenson and Sir Robert Peel in Westminster Abbey. The reverse of this medal shows his group 'Grecian Hunter and his dog'.

22. B.A . 1796-186 4 a. MORGAN SC. Rev.: ART-UNION OF LONDON 1875 . Nothing on the edge. Diam.: 56- 4 mm. The profile head, looking left, portrays David Roberts, a painter of architectural subjects and near-eastern scenes, such as the Moorish scribe with seated female figure on the reverse of this medal. The medal was decided on in 1865.

2 3 . TURNER (1876) . Obv.: JOSEPH MAXLORD WILLIAM TURNER R.A . 1775-1851 . L.C . WYON FEC. Rev.: ART-UNION OF LONDON 1876 . Nothing on edge. Diam.: 55- 1 mm. The head and shoulders in profile, looking to left, is from a drawing by Charles Turner. J. M. W. Turner has been named as England's finest painter. The reverse of this medal is a detail from his painting 'The Fighting Temeraire being towed to her last berth'.

2 4 . MULREADY (1877) . Obv.: MULREADY 1786-186 3 On the neck: G. G. ADAMS sc: Rev.: ART-UNION OF LONDON 1877 . G. G. ADAMS SC: Nothing on edge. Diam.: 55- 3 mm. The profile head, looking left, portrays William Mulready, R.A., a painter of landscapes and figure subjects. The reverse depicts a detail from one of his pictures 'The Haymakers'.

2 5 . MACLISE (1878) . Obv.: DANIEL MACLISE R.A . B. 18 1 I D , 1870 . ART UNION OF LONDON 1878 . A. B . WYON sc. Rev.: D . MACLISE B.A . PINXIT . A. B. WYON SC. Nothing on the edge. Diam.: 55- 2 mm. The 185 THE MEDALS OE THE ART UNION OP LONDON profile head-and-shoulders, looking left portrays Daniel Maclise, a painter of genre best known for his picture 'The death of Nelson'. The reverse of this medal shows a part of his painting, 'The Play Scene from Hamlet'.

2 6 . Cox (1879) . Obv.: DAVID cox. G. MORGAN F . Rev.: In exergue: ART UNION or LONDON 1879 ' Nothing on edge. Diam.: 57 mm. The head and shoulders portrait is from a painting by Sir John Watson Gordon, P.R.S.A . David Cox, (1783-1859) , was a renowned painter in water-colour. The subject on the reverse is a scene from one of his paintings 'Returning from market'.

2 7 . STOTHARD (1880) . Obv.: STOTHARD 1755-183 4 L. C. WYONF . Rev.: In exergue: ART UNION OF LONDON 1880 . T. STOTHARD R.A . DES . L . c. WYON H so. Nothing on the edge. Diam.: 55- 3 mm. The bust, looking to right, portrays Thomas Stothard, who chiefly practised as a designer and illustrator. The reverse depicts the central group of his painting 'The Canterbury Pilgrims'.

2 8 . BAILY (1882) . Obv.: E . H . BAILY R.A. 1788-1867. Signed A. B. WYON . Rev.: ART-UNION OF LONDON 1882. Signed A. B. WYON. Nothing on the edge. Diam.: 55-2 mm. The profile head, looking to the left, portrays E. H. Baily R.A., a sculptor of mythical and biblical subjects. The reverse of this medal depicts his statue 'Eve at the Fountain' which won for Baily an award 'for the best specimen of native sculpture' in 1823 (engraved in The Art Union Journal 1848, p. 320).

2 9 . SCOTT (1884) . Obv.: SIR G. GILBERT SCOTT R.A. 1811-187 8 G.G. ADAMS SC. Rev.: ART UNION OF LONDON 188 4 EDINBURGH . Nothing on edge. Diam.: 5 7 mm. The profile head, looking to left, portrays Sir George Gilbert Scott, one of the chief architects of the Gothic revival. The reverse of this medal depicts his design for St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh, opened in 1879. The western towers shown on the medal were not however built until 1917.

3 0 . QUEEN VICTORIA (1887) . Obv.: VICTORIA QUEEN OF GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND & EMPRESS OF INDIA . At base of bust: ANN . IVBIL. 1887 . Rev.: ART SAILETH THOUGH LIFE FAILETH . ART UNION OF LONDON 1837-1887 . Nothing on edge. Diam.: 6 3 mm. The reverse subject shows a winged figure testing the direction of the wind standing on the stern-castle of an ancient ship, symbolising Art. Sir Alfred Gilbert, R.A . 1854-1934 , was Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy and among many other works modelled the statue EROS. This medal is not signed, perhaps because Gilbert felt that its main purpose was to commemorate the two jubilees and not, as in the case of the other medals, to exhibit a sample of named work.


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